Diapers and Dragons

Thursday, July 2, 2009

I'll Bet Mama Bunnies Get The Crazies Too, You Know

I have a more-than-sneaking suspicion that this whole single mothering thing really sucks. And that I'm not all that, you know, good at it.

The muscle that has been knotting up in my shoulder approximately 3.5 inches below and 2 inches to the right of my neck every day for the last eternity, feeling like a flaming arrow is worming its way through my sinews and spreading its fire along my nerves, might be a little hint that I am Stressed Out. Not to mention the headache that has lingered just at the edge of my perception, not bad enough for a visit to my friendly pharmaceutical basket, but not leaving either. Oh, and the crazies.

I was really good for most of the day. It helped that my brother let me sleep in by taking my insanely early-morning risers off my hands for breakfast and morning cartoons. Then I spent four hours in the company of a wonderfully sane mommy friend and her cute kids, who helped my kids stay cuter in my eyes than otherwise. Then the kids napped in the car for almost two hours while I drove aimlessly, burning gas and cell phone minutes, until they woke and were ready to head home (so totally worth the gas, by the way). I was a little sad today, what with the whole heading-towards-divorce thing and the grey and weepy skies we've had lately, but it was manageable.

But then the whole supper and bedtime thing came, and before I knew it the Flame From Hell was back in my shoulder and my head was throbbing delicately like a distant marching band warming up. DramaBoy started his dinner of pulled pork well, but then lost interest after eating all the bun and decided to take forty-five frickin' minutes to eat the measly four bites of meat and veggies I decreed he was required to finish before leaving the table. He came upstairs with the last bite still in his mouth, and proceeded to take FIVE MINUTES to chew the (already very tender, mind you) meat, presumably until it was a grey and tasteless mass, then gag while trying to swallow it. All while bouncing on his bed and crashing into the TV, of course. Full motion stubbornness beyond my ken.

(Tangent: Could be worse, I suppose. My cousin Aaron was so stubborn about eating his food that once, when my aunt told him he couldn't get down from the table until he swallowed ONE MOUTHFUL of oatmeal, he sat at the table for a WHOLE HOUR. With the oatmeal IN HIS MOUTH.

I'm amazed he survived his childhood. And that my aunt didn't end up in the loony bin. Or prison.)

Meanwhile, The Widget was indulging in his adoration of all things water by lobbing things in the toilet, flushing the toilet (fortunately without the objects therein), rinsing every object on the sink in endlessly running water, and dunking his own curly mop of hair under the faucet. Yeah, I was around, but he moves really quickly. And sneakily. I'll think he's playing with his froggy next to me and next thing he's putting his froggy's toy watch in the nearest pond. Plus I was letting him brush his teeth all his own self, which is what The Widget wants to do these days. Everything. Himself. No hep you! he cries, which is Widget for Get your hands off me/my toothbrush/my socks/my shoes/my seatbelt/my bib and let me do it my own damn self, Mom! Encourage their sense of independence blah blah blah.

Oh, have I mentioned that his two favorite words these days are No and Why?

I think I should look into that move to Australia again.

I'm so watching more Chuck: Season One tonight, subsidized by my dear wonderfully sane friend mentioned above who lent it to me because stupid Netflix only sent the first disc. Cuz I'm a cheapskate and don't want to spend the extra buckaroonies per month that would allow me to get three out of the four discs all at once. (Though I'm totally checking out the whole instant download to my computer thing. We'll see.) She even tucked it in my bookbag because I was too spazzed to actually take it from her hand as I was leaving her house and panicked fifteen minutes later and texted her all I forgot Chuck! and she was all Check your bookbag and I was all You sneak and she was all you are welcome because she's awesome like that and obviously far more sane even though she has two kids too.

I seriously am dealing surprisingly well (for me, because I'm a wee bit of a nutcase in case you couldn't tell and am in gradual recovery from over two decades of varying shades of depression from pearly grey to deep dark reddish black) with this whole situation. Definitely grace from God there, plus the fact that I've done more healing in the past five months than I ever could have dreamed. Come to think of it, that's grace from God too, not to mention amazing friends and family.

But the crazy creeps in from time to time. Some days more than others.

That grace keeps coming through, though. Even my blog and (sigh) Twitter addictions play a role there. You can thank my new Detroitmommybloggerfriend Melissa for her tweets and blog comments and the email she sent me tonight for my being able to recover some measure of humor tonight instead of dumping some horrific post upon your that would send you screaming for the nearest photo of fluffy baby bunnies to cleanse your thought palate.

I'm sure she's pretty grateful too.

Oh ye gods and massive graces, I think the kids might actually be asleep. I'm hightailing it downstairs to make some Chai tea and watch Chuck before they change their mercurial minds. Peace. Crazy Mama out.

9 bits of love:

melissa said...

when i meet you next wednesday, i'm going to give you a huge hug! and y'know what? it gets so much easier. and less stressful. and...empowering. and wonderful. you're about to embark on a new journey. and right now, it seems overwhelming because that tunnel is so freaking long. but all of a sudden, there is a light. and that pain...stress...lifts. and you can smile without that ache in your heart. and it's incredible. and guess what. i promise.

Kathleen said...

Oh, TeacherMommy, even us not-single mommies have lots of the crazies! You are amazing to do it on your own.

Lex said...

Single mothering is not easy. But you'll find your strength. Believe it or not, blogging totally helps. I too am going through major crazies. But it's ok. Because we can do this!

MomZombie said...

Oh, yeah, we get the crazies all right. I am the proud mother of a preschooler and a teenager. The only thing is know so far is this: Preschoolers are way easier than teenagers. Via Melissa I understand I will meet you next week. We can trade war stories.

GingerB said...

Take heart, being single won't make the dinnertime issues any harder than for smug marrieds, except that married people can play good cop / bad cop when you add manipulation to your parenting bag of tricks. But you can still do what I did tonight which was plead, scowl, barter, bribe and threaten the loss of privileges to get her to eat 5 freakin' noodles and two sprigs of brocoli!!

sAm said...

Yes...single parenthood is hard. But it's also pretty cool at times - if I want to serve waffles for dinner, I can! If I want to open the cupboard door wide and say, "find something to eat." I can! Keep in mind, I have a teen, but before you know it....
I think you're doing great looking for the bright side. Stay strong & make sure you ask for (and hopefully get!) help when you need it.

Beth said...

Being a mom automatically gets you a membership in the "Crazies Club", so don't worry about that.

And every day that you wake up and make it through another day, you are being "good".

Be gentle and kind to yourself, TeacherMommy.

mom said...

Ditto to your kind friends' remarks. Yes, the crazies come with the territory. (You probably didn't notice but I had them sometimes too.) And keeping your sense of humor is essential. Funny how your stories tonight brought back a flookd of memories -- such as the one where I found my 3 1/2-year-old carefully chiseling the molding off the bedroom wall while I thought she was napping . . . You'll make it. But yes, single parenting is extra, extra stressful. All I can do is keep praying. I'm so grateful for all your good friends!

Schmutzie said...

You are being featured on Five Star Friday!
http://www.fivestarfriday.com/2009/07/five-star-fridays-edition-61.html

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